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Old 04-22-2010, 09:56 PM
Matt McCutchen
 
Default Bootstrapping binaries

On Thu, 2010-04-22 at 09:25 -0400, Tom "spot" Callaway wrote:
> For example, stating "no binaries", wouldn't be true, as we might have a
> situation where we would have a bootstrapped binary contributed along
> with the source, but for bootstrapping reasons, needs to be included as
> a starter.

In such cases, we should seriously consider trying to repeat the entire
bootstrapping process purely from source code. Otherwise, there is no
way to ever know whether the binary contains a heritable trojan, a la
"Reflections on Trusting Trust", short of auditing the disassembly.

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Matt

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Old 04-23-2010, 12:17 AM
Kevin Kofler
 
Default Bootstrapping binaries

Matt McCutchen wrote:
> In such cases, we should seriously consider trying to repeat the entire
> bootstrapping process purely from source code.

In many of the problematic cases (where the compiler can only be
bootstrapped with itself), this involves either going up an extremely long
chain of old versions of the same compiler, which may not be available
anymore and which may not build anymore on current Fedora, or bootstrapping
from a proprietary compiler, which may not be available for Fedora and which
may not be available anymore at all, or even both. Unfortunately, bootstrap
binaries are often the only viable solution.

Unfortunately, many compiler writers write their compiler in its own
language, probably because that's what they know best and/or what they
believe to be the best language to write programs in. The bootstrapping
issue is given little consideration in that kind of decision. :-(

Kevin Kofler

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